Does Belly Dance Give You Physical Pleasure? (It Should!)

Building the Case for Pleasure – the Number One Reason Why We Study Belly Dance

How much pleasure do you feel when you play with belly dance?

Belly dancer with veil expresses the joy of dance.
Belly dancer with veil expresses the joy of dance. Photo courtesy National Geographic Travel.

Do you sense an energy surge coming up your spine when you do a figure-eight followed by an upwards draw?

When you bang out a series of percussive moves, do you get the same exuberant release that you had when you banged on pots and pans as a two-year-old?

Do you get a deep feeling that all is right with your body (and with your world) when you anchor in on one hip, and do a series of hip circles and figure eights with the other?

Hidden within each technique and within each micro-choreography – that setting of move to music, rhythm, and feeling – should be an intense, visceral source of pleasure. It might come as a jolt, or as a gentle swell. But somehow, every time that we do a belly dance move right, our bodies should respond with a deep sigh of satisfaction.

This is what we’re seeking as we dance.

Not to impress an audience. Not to turn on our husband, boyfriend, or any number of people – all to prove to ourselves how sexy and exciting we are.

And not even – although this is harder for some of us to understand – to get that feeling of a skill mastered, and a job well done.


What We Really Want Is More Subtle Than We Think (Metaphysics 101: A Fast Review)

We’re after something much deeper, much more subtle, and much more intrinsic to our divine sense of overall well-being; our sense that “all is right with the world” – because all is right within ourselves.

We already know that we are each a co-creator of our own reality. We’ve gotten to that level of basic metaphysical understanding. (If this idea still seems strange or foreign to you, please go read some Abraham-Hicks material, and I’ll be adding appropriate resources to this website as time goes on.)

So let’s take this just one step more.

We also already know (because we’ve taken Metaphysics 101), that “the outer reflects the inner.”

So how do we get our outer world to line up with our desires; with our intentions?

Simple. We get our inner world to line up first.

Of course, you already know that our first step in this is to work with our thoughts; we place our intentions on that which we desire. We see something that we like, and we’d like more of it in our lives. Then we put even more of our attention on that which we desire already showing up even more in our lives.

And because “like attracts like,” we get more of that which we desire showing up.

This is an exercise – a discipline – not because it’s hard (it isn’t), but because we need to keep our minds continuously focused – we can’t drift off, or allow ourselves to focus on that which we do not want. We have to keep our focus on that which we desire.

Then we notice it more, appreciate it more, put even more attention on it – and it starts showing up more and more and more.

Very basic, all of this. And I’m mentioning this to give both a high-points review and a context.

Now here’s the next step. Bear with me, and follow carefully, please.

That which we experience in our bodies is very close to our inner reality.

Our bodies are outer, yes.

We are not our bodies.

We know this, at least intellectually. And to get this understanding takes a bit of study and practice; several lifetimes at least for most of us. But right now, we get the general idea. We are not our bodies.

However, our first and most immediate sense of our external reality begins with our bodies. So if we want to change any aspect of our external reality, we begin by changing the experience that we have in our bodies.

A real important point, so let me state this again.

We don’t change our bodies, per se. We change the experience that we are having with being in our bodies.

Very specifically: If we want a better quality of experience in our lives, we start with having a better quality of experience of being in our bodies.

We can do this lots of ways, because there are many things that we can do to have an immediate feel-better sense. We can smile, we can laugh, we can eat a perfectly ripe fig with full attention.

We can do belly dance.

And we can do belly dance with the singular expectation and focus of simply feeling better in ourselves.

This will lead to many good things, not the least of which is simply having a better day.

A Simple Example for Changing Our Reality through Changing Our Physical State

You probably already know the prevailing social wisdom that smiling makes you happier.

Metaphysics 101: We create our realities through how we direct our attention.
Metaphysics 101: We create our realities through how we direct our attention.

Need some scientific support? Check out the Scientific American article on smiling, frowning, and corresponding emotional effect. Or, if you’re facing a truly stressful day, check out this Atlantic Monthly article on how smiling can reduce stress during multitasking.

Taking this just one step further, let’s recall another basic metaphysical principle; the one of acting-as-if to reinforce a desired reality creation. In The Power, by Rhonda Byrnes (author of The Secret), Rhonda tells the story of how a woman wanted a new job. Not just any job, but a very specific kind of job.

This woman created her own powerful “act-as-if” campaign. Every day, she got up in time to “go to the office,” even though the job (much less the office) had not appeared in her life just yet. She showered and dressed as if she were going to the office. She even noted meetings in her day planner; just as she would if she already had the job.

Of course, this paid off. Within a very short time, she had the job, the office, and the meetings.

Now these are two examples of projecting a desire for a better-feeling state (feeling happier, or having a new and much-desired job) into our reality-stream, and triggering these desired states with some physical action (smiling, putting on office-worthy clothes).

We’re going to take the same attitude and approach into dance.

Every time we dance – whether we’re in dance class, or just playing with a move while the water heats up for morning coffee or tea – we attend to how it makes us feel.

We find a little something that feels good. We pursue that further.

Our singular quest is for pleasure in the simple act of doing the movement, because we’re going to connect with our bodies’ intrinsic desire to do certain things and to move in certain ways.

Belly dance goes back a long way. It’s development coincides with the evolution of humanity; it is part of our signature of being human.

When you do belly dance, you’re connecting with your divine and intrinsic right to experience pleasure in your body.

Play with this; throughout your dance, throughout your day.

Alay'nya - author of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"
Alay’nya – author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Much love and joy to you, dear one, as you cultivate your life through the art of dance!

Yours in dance –

Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

Founder and Artistic Director, The Alay’nya Studio
Bellydance a courtesan would envy!

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P.S. Learning about an authentic women’s pathway was important in my own breakthroughs.

Maria Strova has written a delightful and insightful book on this subject; The Secret Language of Belly Dancing. This book along with her newly-released Salome: the myth, the Dance of the Seven Veils, is available through Amazon. Maria Strova’s belly dance website provides a means to order the corresponding Salome DVD, and has links to some beautiful and expressive dances, certainly worth watching!



Maria Strova, Author of The Secret Language of Belly Dancing as well as the newly-released Salome: the myth, the Dance of the Seven Veils, on Unveiling: The Inner Journey

What does Maria Strova, author of The Secret Language of Belly Dancing as well as author, dancer and producer of the newly-released Salome: the myth, and the Dance of Seven Veils, have to say about Unveiling: The Inner Journey?

From Maria Strova’s Amazon review of Unveiling:

Alay’nya’s book, Unveiling: The Inner Journey, is a lot more than a belly dance book. Her work on addresses self-image issues for women, healthy sexuality, and self respect. This work can take the reader by his or her hand through bad days and lack of inspiration, and into the realm of high art and joy. A great companion; a book to keep at hand’s reach.

Read this and more reviews of Unveiling: The Inner Journey.





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